Back in festival mode for the autumn, this time from 28 September to 3 October 2016, and particularly special because the original funding had been for six seasons and here we were launching a new three year programme of activity; this time with loads more partnerships.
The season began back at The Forum, where we had launched season one in 2013, this time featuring a core show, DenMarked by Conrad Murray, followed by the popular local band, Weekend Sun, in partnership with the new music collective, Tracks Darlington.
Alongside the main shows every day of the festival featured an opportunity to have a 5 minute headphone encounter with the International Archive of Things Left Unsaid, recorded using binaural beat technology to induce calming brainwaves in the listener.
On Friday evening, The Trouble with Compassion by Kirsten Luckins, a conversational performance about kindness was at Polam’s Liddiard Theatre, followed by the ever popular Scratch Night which we handed over to OddManOut Theatre to present a plethora of new writing in-progress to an audience for feedback and discussion. The Jabberbar was back helping the festival feel, providing thirsty theatre lovers with refreshments throughout the weekend.
Saturday saw the beginning of two extremely fun and creative days, as the Jabbering Fun Palace began. Starting with Big Little Gigs featuring beatbox master, Conrad Murray and his cru. Later in the day, artist Rhiannon Armstrong’s Can I Help You involved her walking around the town centre lending a hand to anyone who asked. At Be Premiere Hair salon another event was taking place, Ask A Hairdresser, in which the public were invited to come in, sit down and ask a hairdresser ANYTHING.
Both shows on the Saturday evening were moving and powerful epics in their own right. Labels, a story of migra5tion and social stereotyping, and The 56 a true life story of community spirit in the event of a tragedy.
Concluding a fantastic weekend the Panel Discussion was hosted by Steve Gilroy, exploring the themes of Truth and Compassion; whilst children and families tried out our Story Café and Jabber(breakfast)bar.
Sunday afternoon offered relaxing experiences at Quaker Meeting House, including a Perfect Day with Kirsten Luckins, and Public Self Care System with Rhiannon Armstrong, gently easing audiences, artists and our team back into the real world.